April 12. 2020

For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have fallen asleep. Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles. Last of all, as to one untimely born, he appeared also to me. – 1 Corinthians 15:3-8 ESV

To quote Paul, “if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile, and you are still in your sins”. If there is NO EASTER, then CHRISTMAS doesn’t matter! If there is not RESURRECTION then, the world is right- the Bible would just be a book of mystical stories and fables and Christians just a lot of weak people looking for a way to an invisible, unknown God. If there is no resurrection then the birth of CHRIST, is not that important. In the Book, ‘Mere Christianity’, C.S. Lewis made famous the trilemma that we all must face; is Jesus Christ a LIAR, was He a LUNATIC, or is HE THE LORD? This is a line of reasoning that Lewis, and many others use to prove the divinity of Jesus Christ. Without the resurrection there is a trilemma- BUT when Jesus Christ rose from the grave, there became only one answer: LORD! Roman Historian Josephus wrote Jesus was a real person; most people believe Jesus was real, some even believe He was a good person, a good teacher, BUT Children of God know, He is the LORD OF SALVATION, because: He rose from the grave.

Leader, Jews believe Jesus was a Rabbi, a good man, but they refused to believe in Him as the MESSIAH, the REDEEMER, the SON OF GOD- AND they refuse to believe in the resurrection- because if they did, the house of cards would fall- for they know that would make HIM LORD! A meeting with the elders was called, and they decided to give the soldiers a large bribe. They told the soldiers, “You must say, ‘Jesus’ disciples came during the night while we were sleeping, and they stole his body.’ If the governor hears about it, we’ll stand up for you so you won’t get in trouble.” So the guards accepted the bribe and said what they were told to say. Their story spread widely among the Jews, and they still tell it today. (Matthew 28:12-15) Islam believes in Jesus too. In the Quran, Jesus is mentioned in 94 ayats, verses, and the Muslim Holy book puts Jesus on a special station. The Quran says Jesus is a Word from Allah, is the breath of Allah and puts Him on a level that some would say is the equivalent of Muhammad, if not higher. However, they refuse to believe that He died on the cross and refuse to believe in the resurrection. You can visit the graves of Muhammad, Abraham, Gandhi, Krishna and all the other leaders of man-made religion. But you can’t go to the resting place of JESUS, FOR HE IS RISEN!

Conduit, while Jesus was walking on this planet, His half brothers thought He was a bit off. The Bible tells us that Jesus had four brothers: James, Joseph, Simon, and Judas (Matthew 13:55). The Bible also tells us that Jesus had sisters, but they are not named or numbered (Matthew 13:56). In John 7:1-10, His brothers go on to the festival while Jesus stays behind, they grew up with Jesus, they knew Him as older brother. One time Jesus entered a house, and the crowds began to gather again. Soon he and his disciples couldn’t even find time to eat. When his family heard what was happening, they tried to take him away. “He’s out of his mind,” they said. (Mark 3:20-21) What would have to happen for Jesus’ brother James to go from thinking JESUS was a LUNATIC, to then deciding HE IS LORD and leading the first church in Jerusalem? It is the resurrection- that turned JAMES from a DOUBTER to a MARTYR! The Bible is clear that it takes NOT ONLY BELIEVING IN JESUS, but that we also believe HE IS RISEN! This is our HOPE; because HE ROSE, WE RISE! because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. (Romans 10:9) Happy Easter and keep looking up, for the HOUR OF OUR SALVATION IS NEAR!

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